Bundle up and get out this weekend, because there's a ton of good food and booze you won't want to miss. Whether you're in the mood for a late brunch, dinner with five years of Bar Dough chefs, or live music on a heated patio, you'll be bummed if you see your friends' Instagram accounts filled with fun...and you weren't there. Keep reading for this weekend's best events, plus more in the coming weeks.
Friday, October 23
On Friday, October 23, whiskey bar Seven Grand, 1855 Blake Street, is teaming up with Denver Local Tours for a haunted Whiskey Society event that's sure to scare up some kind of emotion; whether it's fear, skepticism or downright mirth will vary among individuals. Start at Seven Grand with a cocktail, then head out on an hour-long ghost tour of LoDo. You'll stroll around downtown and hear tales of the strange (for the skeptics) and supernatural (for the superstitious) happenings before returning to the bar for a whiskey tasting. Sign up for one of the four $40 tours (at 3, 4:15, 5:30 and 6:45 p.m.) on the Denver Local Tours website.
Over the past three years, the Chili, Booze & Brews festival has been one of the biggest fundraisers for the Morgan Adams Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer research. But this year, the festival will be a little more spread out. Instead of multiple restaurants, distilleries and breweries competing for top honors under one roof, Chili, Booze & Brews takes the form of a passport filled with deals and dozens of participating dining and drinking establishments. The fun runs from November 1 through December 13, so you can eat your way through many different styles of chili (red, green, veggie and wild card) as well as sip spirits and suds from some of Colorado's best purveyors. Passports go on sale Friday, October 23, at three different levels, ranging from $30 to $90 per person, but all of them come with the chance to vote for your favorites and get stamps at each stop to earn points for prizes and online auction opportunities. Visit the Chili, Booze & Brews website for a complete list of participating establishments and to purchase your passports.
Saturday, October 24
Few things are more satisfying on a crisp autumn day than a steaming bowl of soup — especially if it's your mom's homemade soup (none of that Campbell's crap). Well, you may not be able to get your mom's home cooking, but you can get somebody's mom's home cooking at the first-ever Pozole Festival on Saturday, October 24, at Rise Westwood Collective, 3738 Morrison Road. The collective of Latin-owned businesses is bringing together ten professional and home chefs to serve their best pozole recipes from 3 to 9 p.m.; we're betting las madres are going to crush the pros. There's a cover charge of $2 that goes to support Re:Vision, a nonprofit co-op and Rise's sister organization; food tickets are $3 at the door or $25 for ten tickets in advance. Reservations are required; make yours on the festival's website.
Temperatures are cooling down, but that doesn't mean Ace Eat Serve's patio is doing the same. The pan-Asian ping-pong palace is launching live music on its expansive patio at 501 East 17th Street starting Saturday, October 24. It's not quite the same as nabbing tickets for a crowded gig at a dedicated venue, but it might scratch that live-music itch. The patio is partially heated by fire pits and mushroom heaters, but our best advice is to pretend you've just made your way down a mountain, bundle up and embrace your inner après-skier. Music runs from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Saturday; patio reservations are available on OpenTable.
Sunday, October 25
Admit it: Brunch can be boring. Bottomless bloodies, eggs Benedict, lather, rinse, repeat. If you love brunch but want something different, check out Opera on Tap Colorado's virtual Bloody Maria Callas Brunch from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday, October 25. The fundraiser for the nonprofit organization (which has the goal of educating people about classical music by performing in non-traditional venues like bars) will include a silent auction, performances and singers' favorite brunch recipes. Tickets for the virtual event are $20 on Eventbrite; find details on Opera on Tap's website.
If you love day drinking but can't be fussed to start in the a.m. (or — be honest — you're still sleeping off last night's drinks), you'll want to hit Brass Tacks, 1526 Blake Street, for its lazy brunch on Sunday, October 25 (and every Sunday as long as lazy brunchers exist). From noon until 4 p.m., you can roll on in for chilaquiles, a breakfast burrito or the house's own chicken sandwich, the Chick-Fil-Ain't, which is served with waffle fries but without allegations of homophobia. Reservations are (as always with brunch, regardless of the time) recommended; make them on Resy.
Highland's Bar Dough was the talk of the town when it opened five years ago, and we're thrilled — especially in the ghastly year of 2020 — that it's celebrating its fifth year in business on Sunday, October 25. Bar Dough is marking the occasion with a kitchen reunion of chefs past and present (including Max MacKissock, Blake Edmunds, Carrie Baird and Russell Stippich) for a family-style spread. Each chef will bring one of their greatest hits back to the menu, and each course will consist of multiple dishes from alumni as well as current staff. Reservations for the evening ($55 per person) are available from 5 to 9:45 p.m. for parties of two, four, six or eight; make yours now on Tock.
Keep reading for more tasty happenings beyond this weekend...
Wednesday, October 28
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts is teaming up with Burns Family Artisan Ales for an online cooking class on the nuances of using brews in your food, how hops react to heat, and how to retain the bitter or sweet flavors of a particular beer in your cooking. For $50, you'll get all the ingredients, recipes and a Zoom link to turn out IPA-spiked mushrooms on toast (call it "elevated shit on a shingle" if you're feeling saucy), juniper steak with tartiflette (the Savoyard version of cheesy potatoes), amber ale pan gravy and IPA ice cream. Pick up your ingredients at the school, 43 West Ninth Avenue, on Wednesday, October 28, then tune in at 6 p.m. for the class. We'll also be stopping by the brewery, 2505 West Second Avenue, to pick up some of Burns's delicious and notoriously high-ABV brews to sip with dinner.
Saturday, October 31
Is Halloween even a thing when we've already had a solid eight months of abject terror alternating with merely mind-numbing fear? Probably not, so if your appetite for dressing up like something disturbing and downing shots of something equally horrifying isn't what it was in 2019, we understand. If you're looking to take it easy on Saturday, October 31, consider stocking up at the CHOW (Culinary Hospitality Outreach & Wellness) fundraiser for rent relief in Colorado. Pre-order goodies like pumpkin Danishes, hand pies, cookies (for both humans and dogs), cinnamon rolls, hot fudge and more on the event website no later than 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28, for pick-up between 9 a.m. and noon on October 31, at Brightmarten, 730 South University Boulevard. Proceeds will benefit the Resident Relief Initiative, which provides emergency grants to people facing imminent eviction. The Colorado Restaurant Association is matching $2,500 in purchases, so feed that carb monster for a good cause.
Friday, November 13
Surprise! Denver Restaurant Week is just around the corner. No, February hasn't snuck up on us quite yet. Visit Denver has announced a fall version of the popular event that will run for ten days, from Friday, November 13, through Sunday, November 22. Menus will be released on Monday, October 26, on the event website, so mark your calendar and get Tock and OpenTable cued up for quick reservation-making.
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